A New Beginning
Twenty-four days ago — on July 18, 2019 — the Ycash/Zcash chain fork occurred. As the last block shared with Zcash was mined at 19:31:50 PDT, people around the world mining with GPUs began working on mining the first Ycash-specific block.
Five minutes and one second later, at 19:36:51 PDT, the first Ycash-specific block was mined!
This block — at block height 570,000 — is the first block that Ycash does not share with Zcash. Although the Ycash blockchain begins with the Zcash genesis block minted in October 2016, it will now continue completely independent of the Zcash blockchain, on a chain that is dedicated to both mining on commodity hardware and honoring the promise that 90% of the money supply will be allocated to users via the free market mining process.
Since launch, the total network hashrate of Ycash has consistently been in the range of 650,000 solutions-per-second to 1.2 million solutions-per-second. We are very grateful to everyone who is choosing to mine Ycash.
We are also very grateful to the growing list of mining pool operators, wallet developers, and exchanges operators that support Ycash. The smooth launch of Ycash would not have been possible without your support!
A Encrypted Message in the First Block
Besides the coinbase transaction, the first Ycash-specific block contained three transactions: two of them transparent and one of them fully shielded. As miners around the world were working to mine the first block, one member of the Ycash team had broadcast a fully shielded transaction to another member of the Ycash team, hoping to get that transaction included in the first block. We were fortunate to have our shielded transaction included in that first block!
Fully shielded Ycash transactions have an encrypted memo field, a feature inherited from Zcash. (We hope to promote creative uses of this field.) One simple use of this field is to send private messages. The encrypted memo field of our shielded transaction contained a short message:
This message — meant to commemorate the launch of Ycash — was of course inspired by the famous “Godspeed, John Glenn” send-off that was uttered immediately before astronaut John Glenn’s historic Mercury-Atlas 6 spaceflight on February 20, 1962.
A Brief Recap
Let us briefly recap the last few months.
On April 11, the Ycash Foundation announced the Ycash project for the first time. In the announcement, we articulated our motivations for chain forking Zcash to launch Ycash: (1) restoring the goal of mining on commodity hardware; and (2) upholding the promise that 90% of the money supply would be allocated to users via the free marking mining process.
After making the announcement, we quickly and quietly got to work. We code forked zcashd to create ycashd, and we code forked ZecWallet to create YecWallet. To encourage mining on commodity GPUs, we switched the Proof of Work algorithm to Equihash(192,7). We implemented several changes and features to ensure that the fork did not disrupt the Zcash network.
We then privately chain forked both the Zcash testnet and the Zcash mainnet on several occasions in order to test our forking code, which included a interim difficulty adjustment algorithm that we developed (to be in effect during the first 17 blocks after the fork).
We then delivered a smooth fork on July 18th. There was no disruption to the Zcash network. And due to our interim difficulty adjustment algorithm, there was no long delay for the mining of first Ycash-specific block and there was no rush of blocks mined in rapid succession.
During the last few weeks since the fork, we have been hard at work making improvements to Ycash. We’ve already released YecPaperWallet and improved initial sync time for users of ycashd and YecWallet. More improvements will be will be released soon, and we are finalizing a roadmap for the next few months of Ycash software development.
The Ycash Foundation is committed in perpetuity to developing and promoting Ycash. We are excited about the adventures and challenges that lie ahead.
Just as the initial Ycash announcement articulated our motivations for launching Ycash, we will continue to articulate a clear vision for the future of Ycash. We will work humbly and diligently to further that vision. And finally, we will strive to deliver. This is modus operandi.